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Uber Freight: $500mln in funding from Greenbriar Equity Group

KeHE Distributors has signed a deal with National Co+op Grocers

US: Fareway Stores eyes more agile sourcing via RangeMe
Midwestern grocer Fareway Stores aims to optimize sourcing and enliven its product mix through a new partnership with RangeMe. Under the collaboration Fareway will use RangeMe’s online product discovery platform to streamline sourcing, communicate with suppliers and find new products that align with its customers’ needs and spur their interest. The solution provides the Boone, Iowa-based supermarket chain with access to more than 200,000 suppliers.

US: Innovation, insights and Intermarche efforts detailed
Innovation in food retailing can come from many sources, oftentimes from retailers beyond U.S. borders and startups who are solving business challenges in new ways. That is the case with Intermarché and, two French companies working together to leverage artificial intelligence and computer vision to improve store operations and reduce costs. While neither company is a household name in the U.S., Intermarché is one of the world’s largest retailers with sales of roughly $34bln during its fiscal year ended December 31, 2019. Meanwhile, is a relatively young technology startup that made its debut at the National Retail Federation show in New York in January.

US: Walmart taps 175+ small businesses at open call
Out of the more than 800 small businesses that pitched their U.S.-made products during 30-minute, one-on-one meetings with Walmart and Sam’s Club merchants during company’s first-ever virtual Open Call event on October 1, more than 175 have received the nod to advance to the next stage in the process to end up in the retailer’s locations and, for shelf-stable products, on its online platforms. Another 450 businesses will receive further consideration from the company.

US: Uber Freight raises $500mln in funding from Greenbriar Equity Group to transform logistics
Uber Technologies, Inc. and Greenbriar Equity Group, L.P. (Greenbriar), a New York-based investment firm and one of the leading investors in the logistics space, announced that an investor group led by Greenbriar has committed to invest $500mln in a Series A preferred stock financing for Uber Freight, the logistics arm of Uber, valuing the unit at $3.3bln on a post-money basis. Uber will maintain majority ownership in Uber Freight and will use the funds to continue to scale its logistics platform and accelerate product innovation to equip shippers with technology to power their supply chains.

US: KeHE Distributors signs deal with National Co+op Grocers
KeHE Distributors said that is has signed a national secondary distribution agreement with National Co+op Grocers (NCG) on behalf of its 147 member retail food co-ops. According to KeHE, this first-of-its-kind supplementary supply agreement fortifies NCG’s supply chain capability and provides its members with a needed alternate source for natural, organic, specialty and fresh products.

Study: 11% of U.S. shoppers have signed up for Walmart+
11% of Americans subscribed to the new Walmart+ service within the first 2 weeks of its launch, according to new survey findings from research platform Piplsay. The survey was conducted nationally and garnered more than 20,000 responses. More than half of those surveyed (53%) have heard of the service, and 27% may subscribe soon. About 47% said they have not heard of Walmart+. Based on consumer responses, Amazon Prime may face competition - 45% of Walmart+ subscribers also have Prime subscriptions, according to the survey, and 19% said they migrated to Walmart+ from Prime. About 38% say they think Walmart+ is a threat to Prime.

Russian online retailer Ozon, online cinema ivi consider U.S. IPOs: sources
Russia’s two online platforms, retailer Ozon and online cinema ivi, are both considering initial public offerings in the United States later this year, two bankers familiar with the preparations told Reuters. Both companies consider going public to raise cash for further development, sources said, adding that preliminary plans yet to be finalized are targeting this autumn for their deals, yet to be finalised. ivi declined comments and Ozon did not reply to a request for a comment.

Vietnam: Vingroup launches a new service
Vinshop, developed by Vingroup, is a new platform that connects traditional shop owners with supplier partners. Vingroup has sold Vincommerce retail, which operates a chain of supermarkets and convenience stores, to Masan at the end of last year. It also closed Adayroi, its ecommerce website selling to consumers. With VinShop, traditional grocery store owners can buy goods at wholesale prices directly from suppliers. They can pay via VinID Pay, an e-wallet developed by Vingroup.

Spain: DIA to refocus on franchising
In an interview reported by infoRETAIL, DIA’s director of logistics and franchising, Iván Martín Martín, has said franchising ‘will be the basis for the company’s growth’. Franchising has not been a focus in the recent months as the retailer has focused on turning itself around and putting in place the foundations for future growth. The plan is part of the retailer’s new franchise management model, DIA Franchise 2020, which sets out a plan to add 500 stores in the next three years. The plan aims to enable franchisees to double their profitability, to 3% by helping them implement the new model, which Martín said is ‘very customer-oriented, [supporting] sales and partner profitability’. The aim is to open 100 new stores by the end of 2020. Martín said the new stores could use an updated design and look and feel. He said there were several pilot projects in operation, with tests for different store designs.

Singapore’s GIC and TPG to invest over $1bln in Reliance Retail
GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, will invest $752mln in Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Retail, and TPG will invest $250mln in the Indian firm, they all said. The Government of Singapore Investment Corp and TPG are the latest high-profile investors to back Reliance Retail, India’s largest retail chain, in the past four weeks. Reliance Retail - like its sister sibling Jio Platforms - is a subsidiary of Reliance Industries, India’s most valuable firm.

Portugal: Sonae MC 'adjusting to new normal', says CEO
Portuguese retailer Sonae MC is "gradually adjusting to a 'new normal'", following the impact of COVID-19 on its business, the group's chief executive Luís Moutinho has said. In a report to announce the Continente-owner's half-year results, Moutinho said that the first half was "an extraordinary period for the whole of Sonae MC’s businesses, with massive challenges that impacted both our near-term priorities and long-term direction".

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